Boks' game plan is 'a thing of beauty'
SPOTLIGHT: Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard said he is not bothered by negative comments surrounding the Springboks’ game plan.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers criticised the Springboks’ approach to games under Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus.
De Villiers said the Boks lacked creativity and that their game plan is not a good advertisement for the next generation.
“The Springboks are the world champions and we all are grateful for that. But I don’t think people will copy that style of play,” said De Villiers.
“Firstly, it’s very boring. Does it give you results? Definitely, but it’s very, very boring.
“We suffocate people with our bulk and then we base our whole game plan around defending, defending, defending. Instead of creating, creating, creating.
“We normally say that honesty comes from children, and if you’re going to play that kind of rugby at schoolboy level I don’t think a lot of schoolboys will want to play the game.”
During an online media conference on Wednesday, Pollard, who revealed that he is fit and ready for the first Test, was asked if criticism like that bothered him.
“For me, that [Boks’ game plan] is the most beautiful thing in the world,” said Pollard.
“It’s the way we are brought up and it is the way we play and for me personally that is a thing of beauty.
“Throwing the ball around is nice for the people watching on tv, but for me that [Bok style] is beautiful.
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Meanwhile, Pollard is one of several players who reported for duty in Cape Town in the last few days after spending time in mandatory self-isolation.
The other players back in camp are Dan du Preez (loose forward), Bongi Mbonambi and Scarra Ntubeni (both hookers), Frans Steyn (centre), Lood de Jager (lock) and Frans Malherbe (prop).
Siya Kolisi (flank), Ox Nché (prop) and Makazole Mapimpi (wing) are also in Cape Town, but they will have to undergo medical screening before being cleared to begin their return to play protocols.
With a bunch of experienced players back in the mix and the team focused on the task at hand, Pollard had no doubt they were up for the challenge.
“We are playing against the British & Irish Lions and we are representing our country, so we will be ready,” said Pollard, who did not show any COVID-19 symptoms.
“Personally, I’m feeling good. I was lucky not to have symptoms, so it was about getting through the 10 days.
“Walking into the team room [in the last few days], the vibe is good and there is some tension, so the preparation and the talking is done, it’s time to get into the matches.”